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Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Keeping YOur Cool In A Pressure Cooker World: Part 2 Of A 2 Part Series

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In part 1 of this 2 part series, we took a look at causes of stress and how most people deal with them, or more to the point, don’t deal with them, until the pressure builds and the lid explodes, leaving your world splattered all over the walls. I also shared my own recent personal financial crisis, which many people like me have gone through in this brutal economic climate, and shared how it debilitated me. So, in the final part of this series, let’s take a look at solving these problems through the art of Positive thinking.

I realize that one has to meet his or her problem in a positive, constructive way, no matter how dismal things may seem. I know there are many who have accepted these challenges and have won. Positive minded individuals are resilient. Again, it is not what happens to us, but HOW we react to it that counts.

Life is a mirror; it reflects back whatever image we place before it. Every seed that we plant in the soil of life will bear fruit, based on the seed and how we feed and nurture it. Life gives back to us exactly what we put into it. We achieve what we believe we can accomplish, and build lives that our minds can accept. No more and no less. We don’t need to set limitations on ourselves. We don’t have to worry what will go wrong when making plans or setting goals. Pressure cooker days will happen; we have to learn how to deal with them. I am able to feel calmer with a more positive outlook toward my immediate future, even though I am still dealing with financial issues. I replaced my car with another updated used car. Life moves on. Though I’m broke, I am elated. The car is a step in the right direction. Making steps in the right direction is how we make progress. I will continue to walk forward, one step at a time, and I’ll eventually get to where I want to be.

Here are a few tips I would like to share with you on how to manage stress. These were quite helpful to me while dealing with my problems in a more positive way.

1. Stop Complaining (Oh my God, this is a must): Do you sound like a broken record? No one likes to be around a habitual complainer. People avoid you like the plague. The constant complaining aggravates everyone within listening range. All you are doing is imparting negative vibrations to everyone you meet. Instead of finding a solution, you end up with more negative results. Like attracts like. Your thoughts will determine your everyday life, your career, and also reflect the kind of person that you are. Having a negative attitude toward problems only limits your outlook on life; therefore you end up bypassing opportunities. Whether or not the situation is in or out of our control, we tend to create our own unhappy environment through our own negative choices and actions. There is always hope, a light at the end of the tunnel, so please don’t throw in the towel and call it quits. Although every one’s situation is different, you can control how you react to it, and you can help change the outcome in a positive or negative way. When a person has a negative frame of mind, there are two aspects of one’s personality that get knocked askew, self-esteem and self-worth. It becomes hard to find your emotional bearings and to regain self-reliance when it comes to what you are doing and where you are going. That can be quite scary. Everyone is certainly worthy. It is a remarkable gift that we are born with. It can’t be taken from us, but it can be overlooked. Self-esteem fluctuates, depending on what is happening to you at the time. You could be happy one minute, feeling like a million bucks, and depressed the next when things don’t work out. With respect to Self-Worth, this is the value that one assigns to oneself. It is also one’s favorable opinion of oneself. It is not contingent on financial assets, academic achievements, status quo or physical attractiveness.

One of the ways you can gain back your self-confidence is to try focusing on the issues of importance when dealing with stress. Issues can be resolved in an easier and faster way. This will help reduce the number of challenges that you are confronted with. As each issue is successfully handled, your fear and the tendency to feel defeated will gradually reduce, which in turn will increase your self-confidence, self-esteem and self-worth.

2. Chill Out: Okay, now that you have stopped complaining, you need to calm down. It’s so easy to go from a calm state to an overwhelming emotional one. Other than taking a tranquilizer, there are natural ways that can help you calm down and reduce stress.

First and foremost, learn how to RELAX. I find the most effective activities that help relax me include walking, writing, dancing, soaking in a hot tub, and listening to calming music, such as sounds of nature with delicate musical instruments in the background. Trust me, it works. I did a lot of walking during my crisis. It’s a great way to lose weight and to tone down as well. Writing is always an outlet for my stress. As for dancing, I am not graceful, so I’ll put that on the shelf. Aaahhh, what about relaxing in a hot tub with some bubbles, which helps aches and pains while your nose gets tickled. Music? Time to dust off your dancing shoes and shake your booty. Whether its Pit-bull or Secret Garden, music shifts your mind into your heart and toes. Another way of dealing with stress is to meditate, or to pray. This is so beautiful, and it helps establish internal peace.

3. Cheer Up: As hard as it may seem, try focusing on things that will make you laugh. It really feels good to hear the sound of your own laughter. Laughter brings the sunshine into your life, dispelling the clouds of doom. You would be surprised how pretty or handsome you look when you smile. Pets are the best thing to make you laugh. Just holding them in your arms or petting them brings out the best in you. I make a practice everyday of hugging my poodle T.J., and I guarantee you’ll start to feel better even if they lick the skin off your face. I know this can’t make your problems go away, but it does make you feel loved.

There are so many other ways to help you deal with your stress, the list is endless, but for now I picked these few to talk about because they helped me. Find a hobby. Go bowling. Set aside some you time. You have to find whatever it is that works for you, that makes you relax and get away from it for a bit. Soon enough, you’ll be feeling better about yourself, and when you feel better about yourself, you’ll see that things aren’t so bad, they’re just tough right now. Once you come to that realization, you’ll make progress, and when you make progress, you’ve started down the road to happiness. I hope to see you on that road, soon!

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